A cruise ship’s accounting department manages and audits all onboard financial operations, including cost control, retail, wages, guest accounts, currency exchange and financial reporting. All money spent onboard must go through the accounting books, which this department checks, maintains and scrutinises. Positions within the often-busy accounting department include:
Accountant, Revenue Supervisor, Accounting Clerk, Purser, Financial Controller, Payroll Manager, Currency Assistant, Night Auditor
A typical day might involve cashing up the shop or bar takings, making casino deposits, approving purchases, checking invoices, making payments, calculating costs, conducting inventories, handling overtime and expenses, and managing the cruise ship’s incomings and outgoings. Any task relating to the receipt or making of a payment must go through the accounting department’s strict controls.
Accounting jobs are highly skilled in nature, which means that relevant experience in accountancy and the hotel or leisure industry is vital. You will need a degree or equivalent qualification, as accounting staff members must keep up with the fast-paced environment and heavy workload of a cruise ship. If you’re interested in a cruise ship accounting role, then you must have strong verbal, organisational and mathematical skills. You should also be proficient in computer accountancy software and any relevant practical skills.
For entry-level positions, a high school education and college qualification is often satisfactory, and the cruise ship will provide training. In these instances, an interest in financial control and mathematics is beneficial, and candidates should also have experience in an accountancy or travel environment. You will also need to show a practical understanding of office equipment and have excellent comprehension and communication skills.
Salaries within accounting are rewarding, starting at around £1,000 per month for less senior positions and rising to more than £2,000 per month for managers and executives.